AREVA Submits Final Environmental Impact Statement on Kiggavik Project

AREVA Resources Canada has submitted the final environmental impact statement (FEIS) for its Kiggavik Project to the Nunavut Impact Review Board (NIRB). Located 80 kilometres west of Baker Lake, the Kiggavik Project is a proposed uranium mining and milling operation owned by AREVA (64.8%), JCU (Canada) Exploration Co. Ltd. (33.5%) and DAEWOO Corporation (1.7%) and is operated by AREVA.

The work presented to NIRB reflects more than six years of engineering, environmental and public engagement studies. AREVA has sought community input and Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit (IQ) to refine the project design and environmental assessment. The submission includes detailed studies demonstrating that modern uranium development is safe for workers, the public and the environment.

AREVA’s proposed Kiggavik Project would require three to four years of construction, followed by approximately 14 years of operation based on estimated resources of 130 million pounds of uranium.

“We thank the people of Baker Lake and the Kivalliq Region for openly sharing their concerns and aspirations related to the potential development of the Kiggavik Project, in addition to the local knowledge they provided our team in the course of the studies performed for the final environmental impact statement,” said Vincent Martin, president and CEO of AREVA Resources Canada.

AREVA has a positive track record in Canada spanning more than 50 years ensuring the safety of employees, the public and the environment. The next steps in the Kiggavik environmental assessment include a technical review of the FEIS and public hearings to be held in Baker Lake.

While uranium market conditions do not currently favour a construction decision, completing the environmental assessment would allow the project to move forward with the next steps when the market improves as expected.FEIS Binders DSC_2667

AREVA Hosts Third Community Liaison Committe Meeting of the Year in Baker Lake

CLC Meeting - July 2013On August 12 the Kiggavik Project Community Liaison Committee held its third meeting of the year in Baker Lake. There were 7 representatives of community organizations such as the trappers and hunters, elders and education in attendance along with two AREVA employees. The meeting started with the formal approval of the June 23, 2014 meeting minutes, which are available in English and Inuktitut. The meeting continued with a discussion on the status of the Kiggavik exploration field season. Barry McCallum, Manager Nunavut Affairs reported that the exploration season would likely be completed in early September this year. He also noted that the Kiggavik Project team was making progress on the preparation of the Final Environmental Impact Statement and expected to be able to submit it to the Nunavut Impact Review Board (NIRB) in late September. During the meeting the group took some time to review the monthly Kiggavik Wildlife Reports for June and July 2014. Finally the attendees mentioned the upcoming NIRB information sessions scheduled in Baker Lake on September 4. The minutes of this meeting will be made public once they are approved at the next meeting, likely in the fall.

AREVA Provides Medical Assistance to Hunters

As a member of the community, AREVA employees are happy when they can lend a helping hand. A crew from AREVA’s Kiggavik project exploration camp provided assistance to a member of a hunting party requiring medical assistance and brought the man back to Baker Lake on July 22. This is second helicopter assistance in the Baker Lake area AREVA has provided this month.

Victor Aningaat, who suffers from a medical condition, was on a six-day seal hunt with friends and family members when he became ill and discovered he did not have enough medication. John Etegoyak, who was on the trip and works at the Kiggavik site, saw his friend suffering and called the AREVA Baker Lake office to see if AREVA could help.

AREVA sent a helicopter with health and safety specialist Curtis Rhinas to find the hunters where they were camping near the Quolch River about halfway between Baker Lake and Chesterfield Inlet. But first they stopped and picked up some of Aningaat’s medicine from the clinic in Baker Lake. After administering the medication to himself, he rested peacefully during the helicopter ride back to Baker Lake accompanied by his girlfriend and daughter.

In the picture below, Rhinas examines Aningaat near the Quolch River.

AREVA Provides Medical Assistance to Hunters - July 22, 2014

Production begins at Cigar Lake uranium mine

1403-BB-0292 The first uranium ore produced at the Cigar Lake mine, which is operated by Cameco in northern Saskatchewan, departed today for AREVA’s McClean Lake Mill, located approximately 70 kilometres away.

The Cigar Lake project represents a $2.6 billion investment and will employ more than 600 highly skilled workers, the majority of whom are northern Saskatchewan residents. As many as 1,000 people worked on the construction of the mine, which relies on a high-pressure water jet boring mining system for production.

All of the ore is expected to be processed at the McClean Lake Mill, which is operated by AREVA, beginning by the end of the second quarter of 2014. With a production capacity of 10,900 tons of uranium per year, the McClean Lake Mill is expected to produce 770 to 1,100 tons of uranium concentrate from Cigar Lake ore in 2014. Its annual production rate will ramp up to 8,100 tons by as early as 2018.

“Thanks to Cameco’s technology for the Cigar Lake mine and AREVA’s for processing this uranium ore, we are proud that production from this unique deposit has begun. Our industrial partners and Saskatchewan’s economy will benefit from this project for many years to come,” said Olivier Wantz, senior executive vice president of AREVA’s mining business group.

(Photo of Cigar Lake operation by Cameco.)

AREVA Completes Tour of Kivalliq Communities

AREVA held its last open house on Nov. 21 in Arviat, wrapping up a successful tour of Kivalliq communities. The open houses allowed residents of these communities to learn more about AREVA’s proposed Kiggavik Project and for the residents to provide feedback to AREVA about possible improvements to the project.

AREVA has proposed developing a uranium mining operation about 80 km west of Baker Lake, Nunavut, which would be the first of its kind in the territory. After submitting a draft environment impact statement in 2012, the project is undergoing an environmental assessment by the Nunavut Impact Review Board (NIRB). AREVA plans to submit a final environmental impact statement in late 2014. 

During the tour, AREVA representatives visited seven Kivalliq communities, starting in Baker Lake. The tour continued with Repulse Bay, Coral Harbour, Chesterfield Inlet, Whale Cove, Rankin Inlet and Arviat.

In many communities, they met with the hamlet councils or a hamlet representative. They met with hunter and trapper organizations in several communities. They also met with local high school students in the communities to discuss potential jobs in the mining sector and the skills required for them and to discuss the Kiggavik Environment Assessment.

At the open houses held in the six communities, more than 250 residents signed in. The open house was postponed in Coral Harbour due to events there.

“We got to talk with many residents about monitoring the potential impacts of the project and ways to mitigate any such impacts if they occur. We’ll incorporate the information obtained into the final environmental impact statement,” said Barry McCallum, Manager of Nunavut Affairs.

“We appreciate the honest feedback we received about the proposed project so we can make it the best it can be. We also appreciate the warm welcome and hospitality in the communities and look forward to our next meetings,” McCallum said.

An article in Nunatsiaq News provides a nice roundup of AREVA’s tour.